Library Journal Digital, July 1, 1999

The Hermitage:The Art of Western Europe CD-ROM

Several excellent Lee & Lee discs examined in p
ast columns (Database&Disc Reviews,
LJ 9/1/98, LJ 11/1/98, and LJ 2/1/99) covered Chinese art. Here's a change of pace as Lee & Lee introduces some of the treasures of Western art in St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum.
The disc presents images and information on 310 works from the 12th to the 20th centuries.
Artists represented include Raphael, Velazquez, Van Gogh, Matisse, Titian, and Goya. The
artworks are made accessible through 72 narrated thematic Tours, an Album of all images, a Timeline, a Virtual Museum, and an Index. The latter is especially good, offering an excellent
variety of contextual ways to view the images: Styles, Genres (allegorical, historical mythological, portraiture), Techniques (silver, marble fresco, drawings), and listings of the works and the artists.

The Bottom Line: Each image has brief background information with clear narrations and
superb music. There is a nice feature we haven't seen before whereby images enlarge slightly
as you pass your cursor over them and then reduce to original size when you move on. You can
also pan and zoom. A technical observation: recommended system requirements call for a
Pentium 166+ and 32 Mb of RAM; experience says you will be wise to heed this. A good means
of introducing students and researchers to masterpieces of Western art, The Hermitage is recommended for public, academic, circulating, and home library collections.

-- Ed Tallent, Research Instruction, Harvard Coll. Lib.

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